Shopping for bathing suits and trying them on can be extremely anxiety-producing, but debuting a bathing suit at the neighborhood pool or the beach can be even more nerve-racking. If you don’t consider your stomach your best feature or have recently gone through childbirth, one of your goals when wearing a bathing suit might be to make your stomach look flatter. If this is the case, a great deal depends on the suit you select. Just as the wrong suit can make your stomach look huge, so the right suit can have a dramatically slimming effect.

Select a one-piece bathing suit. There’s absolutely nothing a bikini can do to minimize a large tummy, but a one-piece bathing suit gives you a fighting chance.

Select a one-piece consisting of thick, stretchy fabric that has specially designed tummy-tucking properties. This will act as a slight girdle, flattening your stomach dramatically. Don’t select one that’s too tight — this can have the opposite effect.

Select a one-piece bathing suit that has shirred fabric on top of this stretchy, flattening fabric; shirred fabric effortlessly camouflages a large stomach. A bathing suit with vertical lines or vertical seams can also create a slimming effect.

Select a high-waisted bathing suit. A high-waisted suit elongates the line of the waist, making it appear flatter.

Select a suit with halter straps that wrap around the neck rather than the shoulders. Halter straps draw the eyes upward, distracting them from the mid-section.